Assessing and managing the risks of oil accidents – Doctoral dissertation

Liangliang Lu, a member of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre’s research community, defended his doctoral dissertation on 18 June 2021 at Aalto University in the field of marine technology. The opponent was Professor Zaili Yang from Liverpool John Moores University.
During his thesis work, Lu has developed methods for assessing and managing the risks of oil accidents in challenging icy conditions, the case study area being the northern Baltic Sea.
As the annual ice-covered period shortens, new shipping lanes will open-up in the Arctic and subarctic seas. When shipping in these challenging conditions increases, the likelihood of accidents increases. The low-biodiversity northern ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to various disturbances and the oil spill could have more devastating consequences in these areas than average. Oil spill response in icy conditions is also highly challenging and its success uncertain.
Lianliang Lu’s thesis focuses specifically on improving the effectiveness of oil spill response in ice conditions. It starts by developing a holistic system model that describes a chain of events from a ship collision to the amount of oil leaking from a tanker, oil drifting in the ocean, and eventually oil spill response in ice conditions.
“In order to propose effective risk management measures, we must first understand the risk-generating system,” says Lu
“Systems modeling helps to identify the most critical factors affecting the effectiveness of oil spill response. On this basis, it is possible to start planning optimal risk management measures – that is, measures to improve oil spill response,” he states.
The thesis then identifies the operability of an oil spill response vessel in ice as one of the most critical factors influencing the success of oil spill response. On this basis, Lu has developed a new type of operability index based on transit modelling in dynamic ice, to be used as a tool during oil spill response operations. The index is calculated for each response vessel and is intended to assist in the planning and execution of a spill response operation under the environmental and ice conditions prevailing at the time of the accident.
Lianliang Lu’s thesis have been partly conducted as part of the SIMREC -project.
The thesis consists of five scientific articles and a summary titled as ”Risk management of ship-source oil spill in ice conditions in the Northern Baltic Sea”. The summary can be downloaded from the Aaltodoc publication archive.

 

Annual Report 2020 published

Year 2020 has been very different. For us as a research centre, the ongoing pandemic has not been catastrophic, but it has changed the ways of cooperation. In the Annual Report of Kotka Maritime Research Centre you can check the facts and figures from the year 2020.

COMPLETE project will be followed by an extension stage project COMPLETE PLUS

COMPLETE project will be followed by an extension stage project COMPLETE PLUSPractical implementation of the COMPLETE project outputs and tools”, receiving co-financing from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. The project will start in April 2021 and end in December 2021, and it will be implemented by 11 COMPLETE project partners. The project aims to ensure that COMPLETE project outputs will be operationalized to ensure their sustainable use by all relevant actors and stakeholders. Further information about the COMPLETE PLUS will be shared at the COMPLETE web page in due time (www.balticcomplete.com).

COMPLETE Final Conference materials available

 

9-10 February 2021

The Final Conference of the COMPLETE project “Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce the risk of invasive species introduction by shipping” was held on 9-10 February 2021 as an online conference. Over 160 participants from 18 countries attended this event, representing policy makers, authorities, shipping companies, ports/port authorities, boating associations, companies providing hull cleaning services and antifouling systems, scientists and non-governmental organizations, among others. The first day was dedicated to the work that has been carried out in the COMPLETE project to support the harmonized implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). On the second day, the presentations focused on the biofouling management issues in the BSR, and showcased the results on harmonized monitoring of non-indigenous species in the region.

The recorded conference presentations can be viewed, and the presentations as PDFs can be downloaded at the conference web page: https://balticcomplete.com/news/final-conference.

Reports of research assessment are now published

Kotka Maritime Research Centre invited two external reviewers to assess the work of the centre and to provide recommendations for the further development. The reports provides the assessment of two external reviewers during the period from 2015 to 2018 and to provide.  The assessment was to assess the quality and potential of the research, the success of multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration within KMRC as well as KMRC’s research impact, societal impact and innovative capacity. The external reviewers are Dr. Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, Vice-President (Academic Affairs) and Professor from World Maritime University and FT, Adjunct Professor Anita Mäkinen from Finnish Transport and Communications Agency.

Please read the assessment reports here.

KMRC Publications 1 External review Anita Mäkinen

KMRC Publications 2 External review Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs

 

Annukka Lehikoinen will start as a new Research Director

Annukka Lehikoinen, PhD in Environmental Sciences, has been nominated as a Research Director of the Kotka Maritime Research Center. Lehikoinen will start in the position on April 1, 2021.

The new research director has an important role in raising the scientific profile of the research center. She will participate in the planning and execution of the research work, coordinating and facilitating the cooperation of the multisectoral network of researchers and stakeholders.

– I’m pleased about this opportunity. Kotka Maritime Research Center is conducting societally significant research in the field of sustainable shipping and I look forward to promoting this work together with a high-level multidisciplinary network of experts, Annukka Lehikoinen says.

Annukka Lehikoinen defended her dissertation at the University of Helsinki in 2014. In her PhD thesis, she developed and applied AI tools on assessing environmental risks arising from oil transportations. Since then, Lehikoinen has deepened her expertise in the field of multidisciplinary risk and decision analysis, familiarised with machine learning and explored sustainable development from a systems analytic perspective. She has also been a co-implementer in the recent research projects of the Kotka Maritime Research Center, related to alien invasive species risks in shipping, international oil spill response cooperation and the sustainable development of marinas.

Lehikoinen is transferring to KMRC from the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Social Sciences , where she works as a researcher in the Environmental Policy Research Group. As her most recent conquest, Lehikoinen mentions long-term strategic planning tools – a topic she has been working on in cooperation with representatives of the City of Kotka over the past year.

– I am happy with the selection, says the technical director at the City of Kotka, Vesa-Jukka Vornanen. From our viewpoint, Lehikoinen is an excellent choice to foster the sustainable development of the city and the region, where the maritime activities have long traditions.

Kotka Maritime Research Center was founded in 2005 on the initiative of the City of Kotka. The research is carried out in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, the University of Turku and the Southeastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

Final Conference of the COMPLETE project coming up on 9-10 February 2021

 

 

The Final Conference of the COMPLETE project will be organized on 9-10 February 2021 as an online event.

The aim of the conference is to present potential solutions and sustainable management options for reducing the risk of invasive species introductions caused by shipping and boating in the Baltic Sea Region from the COMPLETE project. The aim of the project has been to develop consistent and adaptive management tools and recommendations for the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) by addressing both major vectors of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens: ballast water and biofouling, as well as taking into account the needs for non-indigenous species monitoring.

More information about the event on the conference web page.

Register by 5 February with this form.  See you at the conference!

 

Oil Spill Response in the Northern Baltic and Arctic Areas-Twitter conference 14.1.2021

Three EU funded Research projects, all developing countermeasures against oil pollution, will have the joint Twitter conference 14th January 2021, at 10:00 am – 2.00 pm (UCT+2).

ACBR (Arctic Coast Bioremediation) will show some of the latest results how to use biotechnology for comprehensive remediation of oil-contaminated marine coastal areas in the Arctic.

SIMREC (Simulators for improving Cross-Border Oil Spill Response in Extreme Conditions) will highlight effort s to use simulators as novel platforms for training and research to develop joint procedures for the cross the border co-operation in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Finland

OILSPILL (Enhancing oil spill response capability in the Baltic Sea Region) will focus on the oil spill response capability on the Baltic Sea region.

Join us in January: #BAOIL21

Programme